Source: University of Denver, Daniels College of Business
Source: University of Denver, Daniels College of Business

A business degree provides students with the skills and qualities highly sought after by companies and organisations worldwide. It’s why many successful entreprenuers — including Arianna Huffington and Elon Musk — choose to major in this field. 

The best business degrees, however, offer something more: the know-how to make a difference. They offer the knowledge and experience to succeed in no small task, such as improving access to healthcare, food and shelter. 

Sheryl Sandberg, for example, worked on projects in India tackling AIDS, leprosy and blindness. She graduated from Harvard Business School in 1995. Current Apple CEO Tim Cook earned his MBA at Duke University in 1988. Carlos Carrazana, former CEO and Executive Vice President at Save the Children, is also an MBA graduate. 

While there is no single path to achieve such remarkable feats, a closer examination of some of the most renowned business schools today reveal similar features: an impressive network of industry professionals and researchers, a rigorous curriculum, a focus on technology, and a diverse campus community.

Here are four outstanding business schools that offer exceptional degree programmes to help you make a difference in the world:

Source: University of Denver, Daniels College of Business

The Daniels College of Business aims to benefit the public good through impactful scholarship, challenge-driven education and lifelong learning. Source: University of Denver, Daniels College of Business

University of Denver: Daniels College of Business

The University of Denver empowers every student to find their purpose. This rings true at the Daniels College of Business, where aspiring business professionals are trained to be successful and ethical graduates through an innovative curriculum that exposes them to social, environmental, and ethical issues.

The college offers a variety of bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programmes. Among them are the Master of Science in Accounting, Technology and Analytics, Master of Science in Business Analytics, and Master of Science in Applied Quantitative Finance — all of which are STEM-designated programmes as recognised by the US Department of Homeland Security. Graduates of these programmes are eligible to extend their Optional Practical Training by 24 months.

What sets the school apart is its vision: pioneering business for the public good. They realise this vision of how business can — and should — be a force for good through programmes filled with real-world experience that deliver real impact on the local community. It’s where theory combines with experiential learning to produce career-ready graduates and the leaders of tomorrow.

Students create nonprofits, teach and mentor kids in the local community, produce equity-focused research, and focus their business models on the greater good. Those pursuing a Full-time MBA also take on four real-world challenges for corporate and nonprofit partners in Denver and around the globe.

Upon graduation, students will have access to the Daniels network. Composed of the College’s students, alumni, business leaders, corporate partners, faculty and friends, this valuable resource provides professional mentoring, information and networking. If you’re ready to leave your mark on the world and contribute to society, learn more about the Daniels College of Business programmes here.

Source: Rochester Institute of Technology, Saunders College of Business/Facebook

Saunders College of Business elevates students to make immediate and enduring contributions to organisations and the world through career-orientated experiences. Source: Rochester Institute of Technology, Saunders College of Business/Facebook

Rochester Institute of Technology: Saunders College of Business

Saunders College of Business elevates students to make immediate and enduring contributions to organisations and the world through career-orientated experiences. Source: Rochester Institute of Technology, Saunders College of Business/Facebook

Founded in 1829, Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) ranks in the top 50 most innovative schools in the country. This dynamic institution is a top choice for students every year thanks to its diversity of programmes and international reputation. 

The Saunders College of Business offers a wide range of accredited business degrees that are complemented by extensive resources in arts, design, technology, entrepreneurship and science. The school delivers RIT traditions in corporate partnerships, applied teaching, on-the-job cooperative education and real-world experiences that employers value as well. 

What’s more, Saunders sits at the centre of an institution that thrives in technology and innovation — where students of all disciplines work together inside and outside the classroom, immersed in and building the future. An open academic structure gives business students access to minors, immersions, concentrations and free elective courses available across all nine RIT colleges and four global campuses.

To leverage the opportunity for extended Optional Practical Training to work in the US, choose from the STEM-designated MBA, Master of Science in Global Supply Chain Management, or Master of Science in Finance

“Saunders College provides a strong enterprising culture that exists within the classroom and beyond through the Saunders Consulting Group, Venture Creations Incubator, and the Simone Center – ranked as the #1 student incubator in the nation (,” says Jacqueline Mozrall, dean of Saunders. “RIT’s unique environment integrates highly regarded engineering, computing and technology, arts and design, liberal arts, and business courses on one campus. This allows Saunders students to develop an interdisciplinary perspective that positions them to tackle tomorrow’s business challenges.”

Source: UC San Diego, Rady School of Management/Facebook 

At Rady School of Management, data fuels the learning process. Source: UC San Diego, Rady School of Management/Facebook

UC San Diego: Rady School of Management

The University of California San Diego (UC San Diego) stands out for many reasons — its academic excellence, diverse student body, world-class faculty, and strong alumni network. Though the university boasts many excellent qualities, what truly sets UC San Diego apart from the rest is its Rady School of Management. The school is ranked as the fourth best business school for entrepreneurship and learning by Bloomberg.

Here, students learn with a quantitative mindset. They use data to test their assumptions, ask smarter questions, improve business strategies, and challenge conventional wisdom. Programmes and an innovative curriculum expand opportunities to excel as a leader in a digitally driven world.

Faculty at Rady work in a range of disciplines, including applied behavioural economics, finance and accounting, behavioural sciences and marketing, ITO (information, technology, and operations), and management. With their expertise, students understand course material and generate evidence-driven insights. 

Situated in San Diego, the school is surrounded by business opportunities found nowhere else. The city is the third largest life sciences market in the nation and the sixth for regional investment in tech. Its business culture is a big draw as well: think mission-driven, collaborative, and focused on life-changing impact. For faculty and students, this means an ever-growing network of global connections and opportunities.

Source: Baylor University, Hankamer School of Business/Facebook

Hankamer School of Business combines rigorous classroom learning, hands-on experience in the real world, a solid foundation in ethical values and a global outlook. Source: Baylor University, Hankamer School of Business/Facebook

Baylor University: Hankamer School of Business

Baylor University’s Hankamer School of Business is an AACSB-accredited institution — part of only 5% of business schools worldwide to hold this prestige — with one mission: to cultivate principled leaders and serve the global marketplace through transformational learning and impactful scholarship in a culture of innovation guided by Christian values.

Whether you’re preparing to change the world or change careers, a degree here is a smart investment. Take, for example, the Master of Business Administration (MBA) programme. Offered full-time, part-time, and online, an MBA at Baylor provides a strategic path to advance your career to the next level of leadership. 

The full-time MBA programme offers the building blocks for a customised curriculum. Students can select from a wide variety of electives, pursue a specific concentration within their MBA degree, or combine the business acumen of an MBA degree with the specialised knowledge and skills of a specialised master’s programme.

Through the McBride Centre for International Business, students are encouraged to explore global experiences within their degree programmes through study abroad, international internships and business mission abroad programmes. Faculty and staff have the opportunity to engage in global initiatives, pursue international research possibilities and incorporate discovered concepts into their classrooms.

*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International